These days we seem to equate courage with bravery. As if jumping into a burning building shows our absence of fear to our fellow humans. To me, courage is facing fear, pain, uncertainty and emotional harm straight on. Every morning I wake up to an uncertain world, knowing that pain will ambush me at the oddest time, and somehow I find the courage to throw back the covers and put my feet firmly on the floor.
I muster my courage to open emails from Husband #2 that talk about how happy he is now that he’s gone. I pull together courage to answer the knock at the door, all the while expecting a process-server to hand me divorce papers.
My courage is not based on lack of fear. I had to have the courage to let Husband #2 walk away. He wasn’t interested in participating in our relationship and it showed. I planned the vacations, the dates, the activities, the involvement. He checked out.
In truth, I didn’t really let him leave. He was leaving no matter what I wanted. To my credit, I didn’t chase after him. I’ll accept blame for my part. I handled things poorly at the beginning of our relationship and he withdrew (see our Circle of Hell). We were both coming out of failed marriages and fighting to maintain our own identities. We had both been walked over, dumped, and hurt.
The day he left, Husband #2 quoted that saying. Oh, you know the one. I probably don’t even have to type it but here it is:
If you love something, set it free; if it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.
~ Richard Bach
I’ll be honest. I always hated that saying. I hate it as much as the saying “Good things come to those who wait.” Bullcrap. Good things come to those who work their asses off.
My courage comes from facing my fear. I fear he won’t come back. Every new day my fear is proven true when I wake up alone, eat breakfast without him, and don’t hold his hand. But my journey is my own as his journey is his. I hope he finds what he’s looking for.